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Japan Matsuri Announce New Edition

London’s very own and much loved festival of Japanese culture – Japan Matsuri – returns this year on Sunday 25th September to Trafalgar Square, one of the capital’s most famous landmarks.

Now in its 8th year and a regular fixture in the London calendar, this energetic annual event brings people together to enjoy an amazing day of Japanese food, music, dance and so much more. It’s a firm family favourite attracting large numbers of children and young people. And it’s absolutely free!  This year we have special appearances from a number of renowned Japanese performers, some of who will be appearing for the very first time in the UK. There will be a dynamic dance routine from the spectacular Aozasa Shishi Odori (deer dancers), who will make their UK début thanks to the generous support of the Japan Foundation.

This year also sees the return of the extremely popular Radio Taiso musical exercise team that get thousands of people in Trafalgar Square to swing and stretch in unison, always an amazing sight. The unmissable Joji Hirota and the London Taiko Drummers will also captivate you with their mighty thunder drum sound while magician Taiju Fujiyama will dazzle you with traditional Japanese magic.  Bright 10am Kick Off   As in previous years, everything kicks off bright and early at 10am and the action runs nonstop all the way through until 8pm in the evening. With two stages, there is plenty to see all day with an exciting main stage programme and amazing displays of martial arts on the second stage. Swing to the beat of taiko drumming or sing along to catchy songs from popular artists like Naomi Suzuki on the main stage. We even offer you the public a chance to sing to the crowds if you fancy joining in our ever popular Nodojiman karaoke singing contest!

Enjoy the atmosphere with delicious Japanese festival food from a host of brightly coloured stalls. Join in the fun in the family activities area with traditional Japanese games and opportunities to lean origami and Japanese calligraphy or dress up in traditional Japanese costumes. There will also be a massive nine metre long canvas upon which you can draw your own creations right in front of the National Gallery!  Celebrating 125 years of Friendship This year we are celebrating the 125th anniversary since the founding of the Japan Society, an organization which promotes friendship and understanding between the UK and Japan.Japan Matsuri is a charity and organized by volunteers from the Japan Association in the UK, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the UK, the Japan Society and the Nippon Club. Additionally it receives support from the Embassy of Japan in the UK and the Japan Foundation and is also supported by the Mayor of London and Westminster City Council.

 

●RADIO TAISOラジオ体操 They’re back! The popular stars of Japan’s legendary national TV exercise programmes, Radio Taiso (literally ‘radio exercises’), return to Japan Matsuri to put you through your paces with some gentle warm-up routines. Everyone in Japan has participated in these exercises, at school or at work, and coupled with a healthy diet, no wonder the Japanese population is the longest lived in the world. Come and join in – anyone can have a go, standing up, sitting down – raise your energy levels and get the Square moving!

● AOZASA SHISHI ODORI – AOZASA DEER DANCERS 青笹しし踊り For the first time in the United Kingdom, Aozasa Shishi Odori brings to Japan Matsuri the mystery of the timeless dance rituals of the gods from the mountains of north-eastern Japan.Shishi-odori (deer dancing) has been passed down through the generations for hundreds of years and is still regularly performed by members of various local communities and taught in the local schools. Deer, traditionally seen as messengers of the gods, are represented by masked dancers who perform in memory of the ancestors, or in shrine rituals to ward off evil or in thanks for a good harvest. Aozasa Shishi Odori traces its roots back over 400 years, although its precise origins are unclear. It is characterised by the dancers’ large horned masks and flamboyant movements and accompanied by a band of taiko drums and flutes. The tradition has been designated an Intangible Folk Cultural Property of national importance. Aozasa is in Iwate Prefecture in northeast Japan, a little way inland from the coastal communities so drastically devastated in the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. The group has been brought to Japan Matsuri with the generous support of the Japan Foundation.

● TEZUMA MAGICIAN – FUJIYAMA TAIJU 手妻 師

藤山大樹 International award-winning Japanese Tezuma magician Fujiyama Taiju conjures up a taste old Edo-period magic in London. Stage magic performances have long been a tradition in Japan and Tezuma – the name alluding to lightening quick sleight of hand – has enchanted Japanese audiences with a combination of illusion, dance, storytelling and music for centuries. Get ready to be amazed!Fujiyama Taiju has been brought to Japan Matsuri with the generous support of the Japan Foundation.

●NIHON BUYO  Nihon buyō is a refined dance that has been improved throughout four centuries. There are four influences on Nihon buyō,  KABUKI BUYO, NOH, FOLK DANCE and the last influence comes from the mixture of European and American culture that is found in Japan today.The group led by Mrs Hiroko Tanaka who has been dancing nearly 70 years The members are versatile from s house wife, the office workers to the professional actresses and dancersPerformed various places such as The Royal Air Force Private Event, The Parliament building, The O2 Arena, Victoria & Albert Museum , some country in abroad (Morocco) and many charities events.  The group give twice yearly performance to the member of public as a free event

● Joji Hirota and The London Taiko Drummers “The mighty thunder of huge taiko drums. Intricate and fascinating rhythms and soundscapes take us from traditional rhythms into melodic drumming.”

● Naomi Suzuki Naomi is a UK-based multi-talent and the “most well known Japanese singer in the UK”, has been the host of Japan Matsuri since the first event 8 years ago, and will sing the Japan Matsuri Theme Song this year again!! She will be singing about our feelings for Japan for the whole world to hear, and making a Japanese festival song that everyone can sing and dance along to!! By all means, join in the fun and come and perform with us in the Japan Matsuri Song, “Ibuki”, Also Naomi will sing Smile song with children’s smile umbrellas and Beatles songs.

●沖縄三線会London Okinawa Sanshinkai is a multinational group that shares a love of music from Okinawa and the surrounding Ryukyu islands. Members range from young children and teenagers through to adults. They seek to promote and share the unique culture of the Ryukyu people through music and dance performance.The London Okinawa Sanshinkai is a group of people who are crazy about Okinawan folk music, the cornerstone of which is the sanshin, precursor to the modern shamisen.  Enjoy the Okinawan rhythms and join with the group in the Eisa folk dance.

MEDIA ACCREDITATION / FURTHER INFORMATION

www.japanmatsuri.com

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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